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Letter: Governor must authorize bomb train inspections

I am among those who are deeply concerned about the “bomb trains” traveling through Buffalo and Upstate New York. These are trains of tanker cars carrying crude oil which is explosive. Recently, bomb trains of over 100 tankers each have been seen on Buffalo tracks some sitting at a standstill in Cheektowaga.

New York State Department of Transportation inspected over 11,000 crude oil tanker cars from 2014 to 2017 and examined over 5,500 miles of track. They discovered 1,863 defects and issued numerous violations.

In doing so, the NYSDOT made a remarkable effort to prevent accidents like the one that occurred in Lac-Megantic, Quebec in 2013. That explosion of crude oil killed 47 people and destroyed their downtown area.

In 2017, inspections were suspended because of falling oil prices and the disappearance of the bomb trains. At present, with the increase of oil prices to over $70/barrel, the bomb trains are again traveling through Western New York. Inspections are desperately needed.

Gov. Cuomo needs to hear from the citizens of Erie county urging him to have the NYSDOT resume this vital task.

Sister Margaret Quinlan


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